Marketing a Merger: Assessing the Brand, Forming a Culture

Anna Webster, July 13, 2011

According to the 2011 HealthLeaders Industry Survey, 46% of health leaders are contemplating merger or acquisition activity – to acquire or be acquired. The track to consolidation or integration of an organization involves a high level of external and internal communication, brand analysis, and alignment across multiple organizations. Over the next few months we'll be checking in with three organizations that recently announced plans to merge.

Albany/Troy-based Northeast Health, St. Peter's Health Care Services, and Seton Health, intend to begin the process of merging this fall and expect to achieve full integration over the next 3-5 years.

St. Peter's Health Partners, the singular entity, will start using the new name and brand in September and will combine service lines by 2012. The organization's leaders anticipate the move to save 25-30 million (or about 2.5%) on the health systems' bottom line.

Here's where they began. First, at the start of merger talks, the organizations surveyed their patients to measure brand loyalty and recognition.

"We had hospitals tripping over each other within a five mile radius," said Scott St. George, interim CEO of Seton Health. "Over the 2-5 year timeline we are going to start consolidating services with the idea that volume helps improve quality."

After the careful system identity process, it was decided that individual hospitals would retain their names, while all under the umbrella of the St. Peters Health System identity and logo facilitated by BrandEquity.  

Anna Webster Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Anna Webster, Online Content Coordinator for HealthLeaders Media, can be reached at
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